Ensure 90% of Site Visitors See Your #1 Asset

If 90% of your site visitors aren’t seeing your #1 asset then the person responsible for not achieving your potential is you.

Dharmashop.com is an online store.  As I explored their site I didn’t see anything that really blew my mind: they have a fairly good product selection, fairly OK site design and fairly good number of customer reviews.  Then I stumbled on their Facebook page and saw they have 254,391 fans.  And these are active fans who comment on every DharmaShop post.

I haven’t seen many ecommerce sites with 254,391 fans so my mind was blown.  Talk about social proof.  Why didn’t Dharmashop.com draw attention to their Facebook page moment I landed on their site?  Most visitors spend less than 20 seconds on a site.

They should have done what bavariasausage.com does.  When you visit that site the first thing you notice is this Facebook floating tab:

Bavariasausage.com_Facebook_Minimized

It’s impossible to miss and on mouseover it opens to this:

Bavariasausage.com_Facebook_Open.png

Nice and simple way to let shoppers know how many people love you on Facebook.

Dharmashop.com doesn’t need to copy bavariasausage.com but they do need to figure out a way to ensure 90% of their site visitors know they have 254,391 Facebook fans.

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Bad Ad

Touchofmodern.com has this prominent (and likely expensive) ad on CNN.com:

Touch_of_Modern_Ad

The ad did a good job enticing me to want to click.  So I did.  I was then shown this landing page:

Touch_of_Modern_Ad_LP

The landing page doesn’t say one thing about keychains.  But what’s worse is that the user is completely stuck; you can’t get rid of the app download top bar notification, or close the email signup popup.  I understand all exit routes have been blocked because touchofmodern.com wants a signup, but, come on.  If nothing else at least present a link to your About Us page so I can understand the benefits of giving up my email address.

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Teaser Capture

Here is a lead capture form on bizfi.com–

Bizfi.com_Lead_Cap

Let me tell you why it’s amazing.  Notice the blank YOUR BUSINESS QUALIFIES FOR: and NUMBER OF AVAILABLE LENDERS: section.  They’ve been left blank intentionally.  Potential borrowers will want to start filling the form just to see how much they qualify for.  It’s an itch that must be scratched.

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Full Screen Popup

These days most sites show an email signup popup when the user is about to exit the site.  Themuse.com does something slightly different.  They show a full screen overlay for the newsletter popup.  It actually looks pretty good and was different enough for me to take notice and write about it–

Themuse.com_Overlay

Do you know of any sites that have interesting popups?  Do share.

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Guest Checkout

Sears.com, like most retailers, offers Guest Checkout—

Sears_Default

But what they do that’s smart is that when Guest Checkout is selected they ask for an email address before revealing other fields–

Sears_Open

This might seem like a small detail. But consider this: 20% of shoppers who reach shipping/billing page don’t complete the order. By capturing email address upfront sears.com might not guarantee a sale but they will capture an email address and can use email marketing to pitch to 80% of shoppers who didn’t place an order.

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Beautiful Design Can Hurt Conversions

Here is a screenshot of the top half of mytarp.com—

Mytarp.com_HP

Spend 30 seconds looking at it and tell me which page element grabbed your attention the strongest.








[Don’t scroll down till you’ve made your selection]










For me it was the ugly neon green “Custom Made Tarps” message. Assuming mytarp.com makes highest margin on their custom products (which they most likely do) getting homepage visitors to click “Custom Made Tarps” is a super serious business goal. And I’m pretty sure that ugly neon sign is getting the highest number of homepage clicks.

Had mytarp.com CEO hired a world class graphic designer for $500/hour she would likely have got a really amazing graphical element for “Custom Made Tarps” but it would most certainly have a click-through rate that’s lower than our ugly neon message. But if that $500/hour graphic designer can’t improve custom made tarp sales then what’s their purpose?

Design has diminishing returns. Let’s set 3 design levels— ‘horrible’, ‘neat & clear’, and ‘mind-blowingly beautiful’. If horrible design costs x, ‘neat & clear’ will cost you 2x and ‘mind-blowingly beautiful’ will cost you 8x. ‘Horrible’ design hurts conversions so moving from ‘horrible’ design to ‘neat and clear’ is the right thing to do every single time. But the relative difference between ‘neat and clear’ and ‘mind-blowingly beautiful’ is so small that it’s pretty much best to avoid ‘mind-blowingly beautiful’. I’m not saying all ‘mind-blowingly beautiful’ projects are bad but in order to pull off a ‘mind-blowingly beautiful’ design the ecommerce entrepreneur himself needs to have a very good understanding of great design. If that isn’t you then don’t spend your money on that super amazing designer you heard about. Chances are this designer doesn’t understand ecommerce and will defend his work even if it leads to net lower conversion rates. If you’re the type of ecommerce entrepreneur who doesn’t focus on metrics like conversion rate then you should ignore this post. For the rest of you keep this advice in mind as you plan your next site redesign.

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Discount Code Location

These days many sites have promos where they offer shoppers a discount if they ‘comment on’ or ‘like’ their brand on Facebook.  Most display these promos on landing pages or product pages.  While those location are OK the best idea is to do what saatvamattress.com does, they show their message on cart page, where it has the highest chance to getting the shopper’s attention and generating action—

Saatvamattress.com_cart_page

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Are You Giving Your Top Seller Enough Love?

Stop everything, open Google Analytics, select 9 month time period and see Conversions—> Ecommerce—>Product Performance report.  It’s highly likely that your top seller sells 2X as many units as the next best seller (Zipf’s law).  Now go to your top seller product page (on your site) and copy page link name.  Return to Google Analytics and go to Behavior—>Site Content—>All Pages report and enter the unique part of your top seller product page link name into this box and hit enter—

GA_All_Pages_Search_Box

This will pull up stats for top seller product page.  Note number listed under Unique Pageviews column.  Now go to Audience—>Overview report and note the number of Users listed.  Divide # Unique Pageviews by Users for the top selling item.  This number will tell you how visible that top selling product page is.  If this number turns out to be more than 12% you’re fine.  If it’s less than 10% you have an opportunity to improve top seller sales.  Think about it, less than 10% of site visitors are currently aware of your top seller.  The reason for this is that there are so many neon signs on your site screaming for the visitor’s attention they get distracted and never reach the one page that really matters.  Solution, do what proactive.com does.  On their homepage they have this floating tab call-to-action—

Proactive_Tab

And on click it expands out to—

Proactive_Top_Selller

This is a very simple tactic to ensure your top seller always gets top visibility.

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Riding Coattails is Clever

Fact 1: 100 million people watched the super bowl this year.

Fact 2: The shark to the left of Katy Perry made a great impression on popular culture.

Fact 3: Revzilla.com knows online shoppers have an attention span of 5 seconds, tops.

Fact 4: The one thing revzilla.com wants new site visitors to know is that they offer free shipping over $39.99, guarantee lowest prices, and have excellent customer service.

Combine Facts 1, 2, 3 and 4 and you get this—

Revzilla.com_Banner

Nearly every visitor to revzilla.com homepage will notice the shark graphic, and by association, the assurance message next to it.  And that’s the whole point.

Only thing I don’t like: Combining shark message with President’s Day sale message might be a mistake.

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